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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the when-you're-finished-gloating-at-least dept.

IT 299

An anonymous reader writes "After 25 years of doing IT (started as a PC technician and stayed on technical of IT work through out my career) I've been moved to a position of doing only on call work (but paid as if it is a normal 9-5 job). This leaves me with a lot of free time... As someone who's used to working 12+ hours a day + the odd night/weekend on call, I'm scared I'll lose my mind with all the new free time I'll have. Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time?"

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so many things (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 10 months ago | (#43994869)

write apps, contribute to open projects, write a book and or books, volunteer with a non-profit. Or read reddit a lot and play starcraft or something. So many possibilities.

Re:so many things (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994997)

I'd say start your own business. This situation of making money while doing nothing is the perfect time to build something that will allow you to becoming financially independent.

Re:so many things (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 10 months ago | (#43995357)


Is this actually a problem for people? Nothing to involve their lives?

Geez, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd walk outta work without a backwards glance, and be overjoyed to have time for ME to do all the stuff I like doing when NOT having to come to work.

Are there actually that many people that are so tied up in their jobs, that they don't have a personality and a life outside of it?

If so.......sad.

Re:so many things (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#43995569)

It happens, I knew a man, a lifer in one of the byzantine public sector warrens hereabouts, he worked 40 years doing the exact same thing day after day after day and then retired. Two years later he was dead, just didn't have any direction or drive in his life, and couldn't cope with it. I believe some long term prison inmates face the same problem. Personally I'd have gone completely insane living like that in the first place.

Anyway to keep things on-topic, learn my friend, learn all you can. The internet is chock full of information about all sorts of amazing things, use it! Use it hard. I have ~140 tabs just on educational subjects open at any given time.

Re:so many things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995553)

I'd say start your own business. This situation of making money while doing nothing is the perfect time to build something that will allow you to becoming financially independent.

Agreed. If you're at home, start a business. If you're at work, learn to invest (stocks, options). If you're at work and can't use the internet, read.

Re:so many things (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#43995105)

Assuming the necessary condition are met: find yourself a mistress and arrange a "leak" about her to your wife; the life will become a lot less boring (a lot more screwing?)

Re:so many things (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 10 months ago | (#43995159)

Yes, but somehow I don't think giving all your income to the ex-wife in the form of alimony is the kind of screwing that the submitter is interested in.

Re:so many things (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#43995295)

A valid solution for the problem of spare time: a second job will bring back those 12+ working hours that are so direly missed.

Re:so many things (1)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#43995191)

(a lot more screwing?)

Uh, does divorce court count?

In all seriousness, pick up some non-computer hobbies if your living arrangements give you the space.

I've tinkered with cars, played musical instruments, built model rockets, played with small machines and appliances, learned to dance, gotten a ham radio license, worked on the house, etc.

I found I don't do too well mixing my career and my hobbies. I did it for computers and now I really don't like computers like I did before.

You could start a youtube channel...

Update your skills (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 10 months ago | (#43995379)

If you only exercise your IT skills when called, you'll probably find yourself a lot less marketable if/when this new gig dries up.

Assuming you're on the verge of retirement, I'd work aggressively during this time to stay marketable.

get a library card (4, Insightful)

jehan60188 (2535020) | about 10 months ago | (#43994871)

get a library card, and learn about something you've always been interested in.

Re:get a library card (2)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#43995197)

When I'm interested in something, I Google it. Sometimes I do buy books, but Googling is generally a better first step than going to the library.

The library would probably be better if you have no idea what you're interested in, and want to find something completely random and new..

Re:get a library card (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 10 months ago | (#43995359)

The library would probably be better if you have no idea what you're interested in, and want to find something completely random and new..

Isn't that what the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button is for?

Re:get a library card (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#43995543)

Haha.. the weird thing is that I'm not sure if you're kidding.. I wonder what percentage of people actually know what that button does..?

Re:get a library card (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 10 months ago | (#43995487)

I am finding Massive Online Open Courses better then Google or the Library. The problem with those 2 is you tend to get a scattering of knowledge. The MOOCs I have taken march you from start to end covering all of the bases.

I have worked with some brilliant self-taught programmers but they always had gaps in their knowledge which resulted in some interesting kludges.

Re:get a library card (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#43995199)

I went to a library once last year. It felt like I stepped back in time to when I was in high school. Nothing had changed. The books hadn't changed, the computers hadn't changed, their sense of relevance hadn't changed. On top of that it was noisier than hell as people were using it as a meeting place so it was an awful place to study. I backed out of there slowly and I'll probably never visit a library again.

Re:get a library card (1)

gauauu (649169) | about 10 months ago | (#43995433)

I went to a library once last year. It felt like I stepped back in time to when I was in high school. Nothing had changed. The books hadn't changed, the computers hadn't changed, their sense of relevance hadn't changed. On top of that it was noisier than hell as people were using it as a meeting place so it was an awful place to study. I backed out of there slowly and I'll probably never visit a library again.

Your city must have a poorly managed library. My small-city library is always getting new interesting books (I look through the computer & technology books and magazines every month, and there's always new stuff on the shelves). If they don't have a book you're looking for, they'll request another library to mail it to them, and so you can borrow just about any book you can think of, without any sort of fee. They're always working to incorporate new technology (they lend out kindles, they have an ebook lending program, you can use your smartphone to checkout books by scanning the barcode). They also host all sorts of programs (cultural events, performances, etc) to try to engage the community and bring people into the library.

I guess it depends on your library, but some libraries are pretty cool places.

Re:get a library card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995421)

Yes, you can learn how homeless people shower in a sink. Level of interest may vary.

develop a healthy video game addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994873)

Pretty much anything worth doing falls under the 'hobby' category, outside of you know. spending time with the wife and / or taking a second job.

Life (5, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 10 months ago | (#43994881)

Has work so drained your soul that you have forgotten how to live?

Re:Life (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994955)

Probably - that is what happened to me during grad school.

Re:Life (4, Interesting)

junq316 (935454) | about 10 months ago | (#43995049)

As someone in a similar position as the original poster, I'm facing the same issues he does. I'm about to change jobs and will have a lot more freetime in the future compared to now. Going from a very demanding job working a minimum of 12h a day to a 9to5. And yes, if most of your waking hours are spent working and you sleep with one eye open in case an alarm goes off, you do tend to forget how to live. It won't be an easy transition, so best of luck to timothy on figuring this out. For me, I'm trying to find new hobbies that won't have me sitting at home infront of a screen but to actually go outside and meet & interact with people.

Re:Life (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 10 months ago | (#43995129)

This, I think. I would have actually said "go back and time and learn to work 8 hour days and fill the rest of the time with something else of your choosing."

That said, and despite the fact you dismissed it, hobbies and pet projects are the way to go. This could include technical hobbies, which might even be part-time businesses, if you're really driven to work. I spent five happy years running a web-based computer game on the side when I was a PC tech, for instance. Trying your hand at some new technologies (mobile app, programming, database stuff) might be a fun way to branch out.

Besides that: try classes. There's a lot of neat stuff blossoming online. Coursera, Udacity, and the like have a number of technical and nontechnical subjects. You could also try a traditional class, if the combination of location, price, and timing is right.

And if that's not enough, read a few books, go for a few walks, dabble in some things, and chase after whatever seems fun.

Mod parent -1, Redundant ;) (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#43995261)

If you remembered what life was all about you wouldn't be working 12+ hours a day in the first palce. Add sleep, commute, basic living like hygiene, meals and basic housekeeping and it's obvious you don't have a life outside work. I could do it for a short while for lots of money, but in general life's too short to live it later. Not that I'm doing anything "useful" with my spare time in that sense, but I'm certainly enjoying it. You want to be an old geezer with money because all you've done in life is work? Well if you make it that far, most that work all day and all night don't.

Re:Life (3, Insightful)

korgitser (1809018) | about 10 months ago | (#43995277)

It is common for an it guy to get stuck waiting in the main loop when there is no new input. Beyond ones existing hobbies, i would recommend turning to your wife for recommendations. She is supposed to know you well.
something like
ssh wife "dd if=/dev/urandom bs=1M count=1" > /dev/null
should fill up your own entropy pool quite nicely and refresh your imagination.

Re:Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995413)

Well said. How about these:

Learn to self-reflect on things (like the douchieness of this post for example).
Help others that are to sick and/or old to help themselves.
Look around at the state of things in your area, and see how you can take on a role to make them better.

There's also the traditional "gardening, hiking, sailing..." but we all know that already. Seriously though, to look over all of the posts, even just here at Slashdot, we see how many people are suffering all over the world, in all sorts of ways. This ass-head might as well have asked, "How can I make my stomach bigger, so that I can eat more?"

Brag about it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994883)

When I am faced with similar problems, the first thing to do is go on slashdot and brag about it to all the people without my priviliges

Learn Programming --- interesting side project (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994885)

Allows you to make financial gains from something that is interesting (and dare I say it, fun at times).

Try exploring the forbidden planet (3, Funny)

phayes (202222) | about 10 months ago | (#43994893)

All that free time would be well used if you could finally go on a date with a real woman...

Re:Try exploring the forbidden planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995243)

Or if that's too personal for you, the Internet now has lots and lots of free pr0n.

Re:Try exploring the forbidden planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995375)

Well used, or used up?

Porn (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994909)

Porn. Furious amounts of porn.

Re:Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995009)

Then what to do 5 minutes later... sleep?

well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994913)

first thing, ask slashdot.

An Understatement (4, Insightful)

Splitterside (1983872) | about 10 months ago | (#43994921)

To say I wish I had your problem would be an understatement.

Re:An Understatement (2)

xmousex (661995) | about 10 months ago | (#43995331)

it is exactly how i feel, my every last moment is jammed packed, one second smashed up tightly against the next. Projects at work i have to put away for the projects i have to hit at home, and then the weekend its mostly just deciding in what environment im going to pound the shit out of my keyboard on the next project.

Seriously i do not understand people who have technical training and abilities and not spasm out at the endless possibilities of things that need to be built immediately... i likely have less then a hundred years to live and im panicked at what i know will not get done.

and then theres the family and relatives constantly coming over that need help with their laptop/website/wordpress...

cant you all just leave me alone im busy

I have a suggestion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43994939)

You're welcome to come do my job for me. In return, I'm happy to find ways to spend all the free time you'd otherwise have.

Don't worry too much (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 10 months ago | (#43994961)

You don't really need to worry about what to do with your new-found free time. Nature abhors a vacuum and whatever you already do will expand to fill it up like it was never there.

Volunteer work (3, Insightful)

edsousa (1201831) | about 10 months ago | (#43994971)

Use your skills (or learn new skills) to help people who can't pay you back.
I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT and the biggest joy is when the frail old lady you just helped thanks you. I'm sure you can find a number of places where you can make a difference.

Electronics (3, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | about 10 months ago | (#43994975)

Learn how to make electronic devices. It's never been easier to get started with this stuff than today. Start out with a breadboard, some transistors/resistors/capacitors/common IC types like the venerable 555, work with AVR or PIC microcontrollers, and perhaps work up to designing digital circuits in CPLD and FPGAs. You can even get four layer PCBs made in a factory for your projects in small runs.

Re:Electronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995397)

if you are fortunate enough to have the money to do such a thing, buy a CNC machine and build on the designs of BenHeck's custom Xbox 360. Actually work out the design so that the material costs don't run out of control and the cutting time allows you to complete maybe 100 of them that you can sell at a decent enough profit.

of course there are many more problems to think about if you have the misfortune of this scale-to-profit thinking to attempt something like this, like finding the 100 Xbox360's at a low enough cost per unit as to be affordable, QA testing the machines so that you only get the ones that are still working, interpreting the differences in hardware revisions and revising the case cutting to suit the differing PCB sizing, and so many more.

while at the same time not attracting too much attention from any of the corporation's legal structure. I can't imagine they'd be happy about something like that selling out in the the leadup to the XboxOne release. Any conversation's I've had about doing this kind thing with people who seem to know what it would take have hinted that what might happen has never been positive. it would be interesting to test if you already had the workshop and machinery for it.

Re:Electronics (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43995549)

I'd know exactly what I would do faced with a similar situation.

I'd build a cnc machine. that would provide enough tinkering and learning for a decade.

the question is just bragging. otherwise it would be "I'm bored! help me!".

Ok (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 10 months ago | (#43994991)

Develop hobbies, spend time with family, and work on expanding your technical skills. Fuck even if you don't want to do any of those, just catch up on some TV or something. Read a book. How did you pass your time before you got this position?


Speedcraver (868818) | about 10 months ago | (#43994999)

Finally master that guitar or other musical instrument that you have only picked up evry once in a while. Get outside, hunt, fish, sit under a tree and just let your mind wander.................. Do what you have not had time to do, but always wanted to. Only read /. when you have a few minutes of downtime while on the clock from now on.

You could... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995005)

1. Watch Battlestar Galactica, every Star Trek episode, Dr. Who, LOST, Twin Peaks, Larry Sanders, Arrested Development?
2. Learn to write iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, webOS, and Blackberry apps
3. Learn to work with AWS, Hadoop, Wordpress, Django
4. Play an instrument
5. Read all of Stephen King's Dark Tower series
6. If all else fails, go ride a bike or go hiking

Air-cooled Volkswagen (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43995007)

If I were in your position, I'd get an old air-cooled Volkswagen and restore it. Probably an old VW camper or bug. There's something appealing about getting to know a machine inside and out.

uh... (2, Insightful)

houbou (1097327) | about 10 months ago | (#43995011)

why is this on Slashdot? why are YOU on Slashdot if you need to ask a question like this? not being disrespectful, just curious... and then again, not really all that curious, perhaps just sarcastic.

Re:uh... (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 10 months ago | (#43995187)

Because it's a question... and this is "Ask Slashdot".

Think about it. If I had to ask any community for advice on slacking, Slashdot has got to be the absolute optimum target.

Just be grateful this particular "Ask Slashdot" isn't asking us to engineer his sound system or solve his failing interpersonal relations at work.

learn a language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995021)

not the IT sort!

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time? (1)

Datalore (2950751) | about 10 months ago | (#43995029)

Raspberry Pi - nuf said. Or outsource yourself. You can remote into other people's systems to help them out. #envy

develop skills (5, Insightful)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about 10 months ago | (#43995033)

In the current job market it's always desirable to keep up one's skills. Learning a new language like Python or (if you haven't already) Java would be great. If your language skills are good contributing to an open source project is smart. Both of these document your continuing education. It's good to show you can benefit the company in multiple ways (or be prepared for another job if necessary).

Re:develop skills (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 10 months ago | (#43995635)

- Learning a new language like Python or (if you haven't already) Java would be great. -

  Or Spanish...

Or Portugese... mmmmm yes.

Re:develop skills (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 10 months ago | (#43995637)

Yup. Your current position sounds like a trap. You need to either diversify income sources or add skills or something, assuming you aren't ready for retirement. If you are 45-50, it seems like those are the danger years.

If I was in your shoes I would get a realtor's license.

Fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995035)

Get fit. (In a self-respectful, non-wanky way).
It'll change your life.

polish your CV (5, Insightful)

lfourrier (209630) | about 10 months ago | (#43995051)

not sure your job will still exists in 6 month...

Re:polish your CV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995467)

It'll exist for a long time. They already fired him from the other position and specifically put him in a place they needed him. It's probably the only thing they feel they can put him in where they'll get anything useful out of him.

Degree, Business, or Training (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995063)

You have a chance to train in a new career, to get a degree, to start a personal business. If it were me, I'd get a degree. If your company has tuition reimbursement, then you would be foolish NOT to get a degree.

why completely ignore two of the better options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995071)

Why in the world are you blowing off trying new hobbies and spending time with family???

My suggestion is to think of something you like but don't know much about (playing an instrument, cooking, speaking a foreign language, golf, etc.) and take weekly lessons to supplement daily practice. Not to be a jerk about it, but there is so much cool stuff to learn and do out there that you'd have to be really mentally stagnant to lose your mind over more time to explore.

You're asking the wrong crowd (2)

mepperpint (790350) | about 10 months ago | (#43995077)

Go post your question on a forum for stay-at-home parents. They should have some pretty good ideas as they have a lot of mind-numbing boredom to deal with.

the real question is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995079)

..why would you spend 25 years in such a crappy gig?

I'm busy... really I am... (4, Funny)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about 10 months ago | (#43995081)

Nice try boss.

I really don't have any free time.
(these aren't the droids you're looking for)

I'm totally swamped... really...

We have so much work, you shouldn't even begin to think of headcount reductions. But if you are, I hear Jimmy may have some free time...

Bragging. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995089)

I can't help but feel he is only asking us to show off.

Dear /.,

I want some advice. Every time I leave the house more women proposition me. It is getting difficult to find the time to spend with all these ladies. What should I do?

N. Joe Face

As you said (1)

mblase (200735) | about 10 months ago | (#43995113)

Develop hobbies, spend time with family.

How the heck are WE supposed to know what you'll enjoy doing? Try a few things and figure it out.

Do something fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995141)

My guess (having had a similar job before) is that you have a bunch of restrictions of how far you can go and how far away you can be, so I'd probably suggest getting a hobby - the Car Restoration one actually works well since you can generally make money off of it (considering you time is paid already by your existing job.)

Education... (3, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 10 months ago | (#43995151)

Check to see if your company has an educational program where they reimburse their employees for taking university courses. If so, see if you can sign up for a degree program (i.e. Masters in IT or an MBA). Taking 1 Masters level course at a time, while working, will eat up a lot of time, taking 2 will eat up most of it.

There are a lot of people on here who do not understand the value of university education, so don't let their opinions sway you if it's something that you would like to do. After all, if the company is paying for it, why not take advantage of the opportunity.

Go outside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995153)

Go outside and play, 20 odd years indoors doesn't sound like fun.
Go hiking, biking, camel riding.

Sadly I have this problem too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995313)

I work full time as a DBA but I feel like the Maytag repairman.. I just sit and wait for someone to ask for something or something to break. It's a very "feast or famine" job.. I voluntarily went part-time for a few years and had a much more fulfilling life, but they requested I go back to full-time and I sit here not knowing what to do with myself. Sure the additional money is great but I like having a life, too.

You sound like your tempted by complacency (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#43995361)

You can't afford to get complacent, resist the temptation. Your 25 years into your career, which could easily mean your in your 40's and have another 20+ years to go. Your far from done with your career and need to prepare for the next job. Your in IT, that means you have one of the few fields that demands more education after you graduate than before. Look at industry trends and start training for your next thing.

There's a five year difference between someone on the bleeding edge and a dinosaur. Experience makes it easier to give into the temptation of complacency and complacency is how you can far too easily become one of the countless numbers of IT people that can't get a job because their skills are out of date. Age discrimination in IT is entirely too real and you have to stay as hungry for career success now as you were fresh out of school.

Nothing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995363)

A few friends of mine have recently switched jobs so they are working less time. Let me share something that has worked well for them: Make no plans for two weeks.

When you first find yourself with free time you may think you need to fill it up with a hobby or visiting people or getting a part-time job or starting a new project. Don't do that right away. Give yourself a few weeks where you daydream or consider options, but make no plans. Your body is in the habit of working and you will feel a drive to keep moving. Don't. Relax, let your mind and body adjust to your new schedule.

Eventually, two or three weeks into the new gig, you will probably find you naturally gravitate toward certain activities. Maybe you end up playing ball in the park or reading about history or you learn a new language or you start hanging out at the pub. Whatever it is, let it happen naturally. Don't go out into the world with a set plan, let yourself wander aimlessly for a few weeks and something will catch your interest.

Any suggestions... (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about 10 months ago | (#43995403)

Yes: develop hobbies, spend time with family.

I'd do that.

Otherwise, be creative. Start by being creative enough to come up with some ideas to spend that free time creatively.

If all fails, go volunteer.

Try this "What if..." question (1)

Fubari (196373) | about 10 months ago | (#43995429)

What if you didn't have to work for a living?
Suppose you inherit $5 billion from a long-lost uncle.
What would you do ?

Some people I ask say they would "Move to a tropical island and drink margaritas all day."
Some people I ask say they would "Travel around the world."

Fine... I have trouble imagining doing anything like that for more than 30 days tops.
What would you do with the rest of your life?
What cause would you work for?
What language (human, or programing) would you learn?
What skills would you learn (flying? martial arts? scuba?)

The point of the question isn't to give you a "single right answer".
Instead the point is to help put some boundaries around what you want to focus your life on, to get an idea of what interests you.
And then maybe help jump start some brainstorming about how to make it practical...

Good luck! Sounds like you have a neat opportunity here, do write back in a year and tell us what you did with it :-)

Open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995441)

Work on open source projects...You'll learn a hell of a lot..

Hike! (1)

lxrslh (652069) | about 10 months ago | (#43995455)

Seriously, after being cooped up in a basement or server room or cube farm, your body is not likely to be a fit as your mind and it will eventually desert you long before you're ready. Get outdoors, hike in state parks, national parks, local greenways, etc. Listen for wildlife, look for unusual vegetation, apply some brain cells to learning about evolution and our natural history. Sweat is good!

Two things (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 10 months ago | (#43995495)

First, learn. Learn anything you can. History, languages, geography, philosophy, any and all of it will enrich your life and expand your mind.

Second and perhaps even more importantly, get outdoors, in nature and remember what it is to be a human on planet earth.

Ride Your Bicycle, Relax (3, Interesting)

InitZero (14837) | about 10 months ago | (#43995497)

When you say 'Any suggestions (beyond develop hobbies, spend time with family) on how to deal with all the new free time?', you're missing the point. Free time is all about hobbies and spending time with the family. It isn't about finding more work.

When I was, more or less, unemployed for ten months, I rode my bicycle. A lot: sometimes more than 200 miles a week. Lost 30 pounds. Felt great. By the time I had to go back to real work, I was in the best shape of my life, was relaxed and had spent wonderful amounts of time with my wife and kid. (Now I'm a fat slob again. But I'm making money. So, I've got that.)

Whatever you do, don't feel guilty about having free time. Don't try to fill your free time with more day-job-type work. You've done day-job-type work for 25 years and are, apparently, valuable enough that you don't have to do that 40 hours a week anymore.


Wikipedia or LibreVox (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995507)

Try contributing to Wikipedia/Wikibooks (spread some of your knowledge) or LibreVox (reading public domain material out-loud for the blind or just to contribute to Free audiobooks) - http://librivox.org/

Sports, cooking, meditation, coursera,... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995519)

I am in a similar situation, by choice (I worked hard this winter and now am taking the summer off - something I did last year as well, but didn't spend my time as well as I could have). So far this summer, I love it - my house is suddenly getting cleaner and more organized, I have lots of time for cooking good and healthy food (and nerding out on Japanese kitchen knives, need to have something to please my inner nerd!).

Another thing I picked up for the first time this year is skating (for which I'm a bit old, but it's a lot of fun now that I'm slowly getting the hang of it). Other sports are fun too and will keep you active as well. I find that my days are better if I get active early in the morning, to prevent lazing around my PC reading slashdot.

Finally, so many fun courses at coursera and the like - or pick up a new language (I'm learning German currently).

So much to do! Enjoy!

Cycling (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 10 months ago | (#43995575)

Step 1: Get a bicycle.

Step 2: GTFO.

Seriously, get out there. I've so enjoyed cycling, exploring new places, taking pictures, getting kicked out of places I shouldn't be, etc.

Even better if you can find someone to do it with.

wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995583)

No one says go find some women to fuck?

Use this gift wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995585)

Go to one of those websites that tells you approximately how many days you have left on the planet. Then ask yourself if you were put here merely to satisfy your own selfish, self-centered, egotistical passions. You have been given a gift. Use it wisely.

learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43995617)

KhanAcademy or Udacity or Coursera or CodeAcademy ... time to learn something new

You have not yet slain the Enderdragon, have you? (2)

platypusfriend (1956218) | about 10 months ago | (#43995639)

Be love. The dream is over. Start a new dream. Dream again, dream better. You are the player. Wake up.
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